Our Dating Regrets
I decided to take a survey of good friends and find out what
kind of regrets people had when dating. Regrets took on many
different forms in their varied answers but I thought it was
interesting to ask because it often highlights dating issues
we often forget to mention. As with many of my surveys, the
results are haphazard but are useful in pointing out that
we are not alone in the mistakes that occur in our dating
Here follows are a mind boggling catalogue of dating disasters
that we should bear in mind as lessons learned.
1. In top spot - dating a married person. Man or woman, it
makes no difference. In every version the story was the same,
dating a married person was a complete disaster. Not withstanding
the lies, deceit, regret, cheating and false promises, on
NO occasion did anyone I asked have a good outcome for their
married affairs. This was one good example of how to waste
your years waiting for someone who will never leave; sharing
your loved one with someone else and spending thousands of
dollars on stolen moments and brief weekends where you were
not the only person on their mind. Avoid like the plague unless
you want to lose all the dignity you ever had.
2. Amazingly not marrying your childhood sweetheart was number
2. It appears there are a lot of people who have spent years
wishing they had married the person of their dreams when they
had the chance. Unfortunately this often tends to be your
childhood sweetheart or first love at college. At the time
you are too young and there are too many other fish in the
sea. In later years you have used them as a bench mark of
the minimal level of romance required for potential partners
and never quite match it. This leads to a feeling of making
do with second best. In turn you start hankering for the girl
or boy from all those years ago.
3. Not asking someone out on a date when the offer was there.
This is a biggie because we are dealing with the eternal niggling
"what if.." question. This tends to come out as a regret at
a time when other things are not going well and you find yourself
fantasizing. What if you had asked him out. What if you had
said yes to that date. What if you had got married and had
children. It seems that not asking someone out can leave a
long term legacy. Just look at the popularity of reunion sites
on the Internet just now.
4. Not ending a bad relationship earlier. Yes lot of us listed
this one. There are many of us who have entered into a relationship
willingly only to discover to our cost that the relationship
wasn't all it could be. Whilst the door was only over there
we chose for many a reason not to walk out of it. Whilst perhaps
a worthy concept in itself it does none of us a service. The
fact is, too many of us have stayed in long term relationships
that were not good for ourselves and our partners. If only
we had the courage at the time.
5. Dating the wrong person for the wrong reasons. Maybe for
sex, for appearance, for contacts, for business reasons or
even out of sympathy. It appears that there are plenty of
people out there who have dated people for the wrong reasons
and lived to regret it. This has to be balanced against hindsight.
Looking back it is obvious which people we perhaps should
never have dated but there are plenty of us who dated the
wrong person at the time and knew we were doing it. No excuse.
6. Putting your career first and waiting too long. Oh yes,
this is a modern classic. Our current society has a problem
in that a third of all adults are now single - and growing.
The most commonly sited reason is that we put our career first,
especially through out 20's and then begin seriously dating
in our 30's when we feel ready. The problem is that we are
not as young as we were, not as attractive as when we were
21 in many cases, our body clocks are ticking at a deafening
volume and all the best catches have been snapped up. A great
many of us appear to be wishing we had sorted out our love
lives earlier. Be warned.
7. Leaving someone you were in love with. I don't have the
answers but it cropped up quite a few times in my survey and
could be tied in with point 2. People in love have left and
seem to struggle to find an explanation. All too often the
decision was regretted very quickly only to find that the
rejected partner had closed and bolted the door and you were
never going to be allowed back. Infidelity is the primary
cause, or more to the point, getting caught. If you love someone
stay with them faithfully appears to be the lesson here.
8. Not being the nice person you could have been. Treating
someone badly in a relationship always comes back to haunt
you if you are the guilty party, however empowering it may
have felt at the time. As we grow older we list mentally those
we could have been nicer too and I am amazed how many of us
confess we could have been nicer people to our lovers. I am
not talking about physical violence though we all accept that
it does exist within our society. No I simply mean being courteous,
kind, remembering birthdays and anniversaries, buying flowers,
compromising, going on holidays and being romantic and spontaneous.
We live and learn and later regret is clearly the message.
9. Dumping someone in a callous and bad way. I have done it
and I have had it done to me and I regret both happening.
When young it was easy to love and leave and I never thought
anything of it. As I grew older I had it done to me by someone
I loved and it broke my heart. I don't think we every do get
over being left in a bad way - no explanation, no reasons
given. One day it's fine, the next day you're gone. Dumping
via email, texting or phone should be made cardinal sins and
it appears from my survey that many of us regret doing just